This Bronze Age civilization, clearly influenced by the earlier Minoan civilization on Crete (2000–1450 BCE) flourished in Peloponnese from the 17th to 12th centuries BCE, spreading its influence to mainland Greece, the eastern Aegean and Crete. Large palace complexes, generally built around a rectangular central hall or megaron, dominated the main Mycenaean centres. The palace complex was fortified by substantial wall of large, unworked ‘Cyclopean’ blocks, sometimes reaching up to 43 feet (13 m) high. Circular stone tombs, corbelled roofs and monumental doorways were all characteristic of Mycenaean architecture. As well as acting as fortifications that housed soldiers, these palaces were trading centres, with networks stretching as far as Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Levant and Sicily. Mycenae exported oil, wine and potter, and imported gold, ivory, copper and glass. Mycenaean frescoes depict vivid scenes of warriors, chariots, wildlife and boar hunts.
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PeriodEarly Civilizations [4000BCE - 500BCE]